All for Christ
Giving Father, as I read this passage, open my heart to thank You for those who have helped me grow in faith. Please bless them.
Read COLOSSIANS 1:24—2:5
24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.
2 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
If Christ is in you as verse 27 says, what features of your lifestyle provide some evidence to that effect?
Serving God and his people can cost us everything we have. Today we see how Paul gave his energies to caring for the Colossians. It was so demanding that he described it as sharing in Christ’s afflictions (24). Paul threw himself into the task of bringing believers to maturity. “To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me” (29). This sense of struggle is underlined in the next verse: “I want you to know how hard I am contending for you” (2:1).
It is impressive to see that his longing for their spiritual well-being—even without ever having met them—galvanizes him to an energetic commitment. We too should feel that burden: a longing for believers to grow to maturity in Christ. The reason for such commitment is expressed in Paul’s stated purpose: it was to encourage growth to maturity, to urge the believers to continue in their faith and to instruct and support them unto complete understanding (2). He defines this simply but beautifully: “in order that they may know the
mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (2,3). Paul warns of heresy and false teaching, too (4), but his focus is on imparting to the Colossians the truth about the greatness of Christ’s person and work. No wonder he poured himself into the task (28,29)!
Maturity is God’s ultimate design for all believers—and it is urgently needed in churches the world over. This calls for a total commitment to one another based on a costly engagement that incorporates Christ’s own sufferings, so that through the teaching of God’s Word and the prayerful support of one another, believers and congregations will grow to completeness in Christ.
Spend a moment praying for pastors and Christian workers who are specially concerned to teach, encourage and shepherd the flock.
Lord, work in me the selflessness required to qualify as one of Your servants.
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